Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Photographer Simon Roberts coming to Salford? We hope so…

Posted by wcmlibrary on February 16, 2012

Culture 24 is a Web site that brings together a range of cultural activities and hosts an annual event, Museums at Night: an ‘after hours celebration when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events’. This year they invited places like us to apply to have photographers, artists, and other creative people come and participate in their events. We did, and have been chosen for the public vote competition!

Vote here to make sure we get the chance to have the award-winning photographer Simon Roberts visit the WCML for our event on the Museums at Night weekend in May.  If we win, he will photograph modern dissenters, drawing inspiration from the stories of past campaigns archived in our library. We’ll use these, and the public’s photographic responses, to debate the power of pictures and writing to move and to persuade.

From Simon Roberts's Election Project

Election Project - Gordon Brown, Labour. Rochdale, 28 April 2010 (Rochdale constituency) Copyright Simon Roberts

Simon’s two projects Motherland and We English are especially interesting. In ‘Motherland’, Simon documented the lives of people in post-Soviet Russia as they are rather than as they are typically received by the west. The stunning photographs in ‘We English’ depict the activities of people in the British landscape, and remind us of our current exhibition on the lifestyle activities inspired by the Clarion newspaper such as rambling and cycling.

Simon was also commissioned as the official Election Artist by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee to create a record of the 2010 General Election.  The image on the left comes from the portfolio of 25 photographs he produced.

I like to think we have an affinity with Simon’s work, and the way he approaches his subject matter as identified by critics on this page of Simon’s Web site — documenting the lives of ordinary people in their social landscapes in a way that challenges preconceptions and reveals their beauty and richness.  We’d be very excited to win this competition and have him come to Salford.

Jen Morgan, volunteer

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